That’s what Toronto celebrity chef Zane Caplansky and I are going to find out, and you’re invited to join us.081aea7f4d886001-081aea7f4d886002

We’re collaborating at Storia.me (formerly named Selfish), the new visual storytelling service where I’ve been heading content and community for the past year, to create the foundation of a book about his adventures building a deli empire.

Zane’s a great storyteller, and his quest for the perfect smoked meat sandwich has taken him on a personal and professional journey around the world, from dive bars and divorce into foodie business ventures on wheels and construction lots, and onto the shelves of Whole Foods and television shows judging donuts and national radio airwaves talking about what makes Canadian food uniquely Canadian.

He’s changed his name and returned to his roots and now he’s serving handmade, homemade Jewish deli food the way his mother and grandmother taught him, and sharing his biggest lessons about life and how what we crave — yes, it could be a sandwich — holds the key to our future.

It’s a story we can all enjoy.

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In fact, a major Canadian literary agent requested Zane’s book proposal.

Two years ago.

Does that sound familiar?

It’s a common story and nightmare of many promising writers. You’re busy. It’s a lot of material to get your arms around. It’s overwhelming! It takes time to pick out a narrative, pin down the content you want to draw from when you start writing. It also takes time to compare and contrast other related titles.

So here’s what Zane and I are going to try at Storia.me, with its topic-specific, ongoing stories and its moments of photo, video and text:

We’ll start capturing chapter ideas for his memoir in an exclusive story, and in this collaborative story Proposing Deli Man we’ll walk you through what we’re doing together. Kind of like a blueprint for how we’re doing it.

If you’re a writer you’ll probably find it interesting in a behind-the-scenes-in-publishing kind of way (and you might want to try it yourself, right along with us).

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If you’re a fan of Zane’s food and his life stories, you might like to see him put together this book like he puts together his lovingly made smoked meat sandwiches.

He’ll also be sharing about this project on all his platforms — like a media- and audience-savvy book author needs to — and inviting people to come peek in and comment. That includes you. We want to hear your thoughts every step of the way.

“It’s a good example of collaboration, as well as a brilliant idea and useful for me,” Zane says.

We can’t wait to get started. So subscribe right now to our behind-the-scenes story Proposing Deli Man, and Zane Caplansky’s Story where we’ll be capturing all the delicious material representing his story, and be sure you’re following Zane too so you don’t miss any new stories he starts.

If you know anyone who would like to watch this unfold, or take part themselves, share this right now.

See you in the story!

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.04.25 PMThanks to Mary-Lea Awanohara of The Displaced Nation for these kind words!

“When the Displaced Nation first started, Anastasia Ashman, an American living in Istanbul, was running a blog tailored to the needs of the “thinking expat.”

“It seemed almost too good to be true: a group of women who were passionate about telling stories that illustrated the impact of the expat life on a person’s psyche. Had Anastasia rubbed a magic lamp to conjure up a kind of foreign harem? After all, her site was called Expat+HAREM. The work she created on the basis of her Turkish expat life has lived on in her wake.”

So glad to see this great interview with Katie Belliel and Rose Deniz about their upcoming anthology Sofra: A Gathering of Foreign Voices Around the Turkish Table.

See other posts on this site about Displaced Nation.

Are you on Flipboard? I’m testing it out as a curation platform.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 3.01.45 PMHere are my magazines on social justice, “SJW: There’s nothing wrong with wanting to right the world“, and forward thinking in culture, media, tech & digital life. See what you think!

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For women’s history month,  #filmherstory, an addictive Twitter meme calls attention to female protagonists and their forgotten, ignored, or too-little-known stories we want to see on screen…there are so so many. As far as I can tell, it was started by  curator Shaula Evans, film producer Cat Cooper, Miriam Bale and film and TV creator Lexi Alexander.

Read through the suggestions in that Twitter hashtag, and suggest your own.

I suggested a story I’ve been researching and developing for years, the story of a forgotten monumental woman builder who built the most decorated building in the world and spurred an emperor to best her.

Here’s where you can see more about my Byzantine princess story in development, including images and research:

 Click on this mind map to get the scope of the story:ANICIA JULIANA & her church of PolyeuktosScreen Shot 2015-03-04 at 12.04.21 PM

I’ve been developing this story since, while creating an Istanbul walking tour for National Geographic Traveler, I literally tripped over the foundations of a social grudge between my superlative-but-forgotten 6th century princess and Justinian — which prompted the Holy Roman Emperor to build his world-beating Haghia Sophia Church a mile down the road. The man needed to best Anicia Juliana. See my Pinterest board about it.

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Did you know decision making is a discipline?

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Thrilled to be able to bring my longtime friend and global woman entrepreneur peer Shefaly Yogendra, visiting the San Francisco area from her base in London, to speak at RocketSpace.

She’ll be leading a decision-making workshop on the co-working campus tomorrow.

Check out Shefaly’s answers on Quora, where she’s been named a Quora Top Writer for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

And here she is, talking about “risk literacy” after Angeline Jolie announced her decision to get elective mastectomies.

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Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 6.58.36 PMSee the photos here at Storehouse.

Key takeaways:

  • problems are dynamic, solutions are dynamic
  • going with your gut feeling is as good as rationalizing a decision
  • we all make imperfect decisions, they are only perfect at that moment in time

When protests were erupting in Ferguson, Missouri (and in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, Washington DC and Seattle) after the Darren Wilson Grand Jury ruling in his fatal shooting of unarmed Michael Brown, my Twitter timeline was nothing but Ferguson. (I also had Ferguson-devoted Twitter lists to dip into.) But same as in August, when the shooting spurred protests which were met by a disproportionate show of force from a militarized local police, my Facebook timeline was animal videos.

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In his reply, Tobin Davis is referring to the Orwellian scrubbing of the media that occurs in the Facebook newsfeed algorithm, which controls 30% of the news accessed by more than a billion people: 


“As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particu
lar number of the Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in it’s stead. This process of continuation alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs–to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to be correct; nor was any item of news, or expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to be on record.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 And it’s Facebook’s declared intention to become “‘the perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world’.” 

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Technosociologist Zeynep Tufekci writes: “algorithms have consequences.”

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Shun social media? You might get lost or left in the past.

21 February 2015 Community

Heard from 2 friends who shun social media: “I don’t want to lose you, what’s your mailing address?” “I don’t want you to get too far in the past that I can’t catch up with you in the present.” Who’s in danger of being lost, who’s being left in the past? It struck a nerve […]

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I’m doing an AMA on Reddit. Come ask me a question.

4 February 2015 Community

EDIT: Here’s where you can see my completed AMA.   Wut. I’m doing an AMA on Reddit this Thursday February 5 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern. AMA stands for “Ask Me Anything”, an interview where everyone can participate. Come ask me some questions?     My topic is “What’s so wrong about being Selfish?” and in […]

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Ahoy mateys!

22 January 2015 Community

As you probably heard somewhere, we launched the Selfish iPhone app in Canada last week. Mobile Syrup says it’s “providing a, well.. social element that has been lacking” from other visual story apps. Now we have lots of fun Canadians coming onboard, including our spokesperson Jack Greystone who’s been on the cover of a Harlequin Romance, as […]

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Successor to Expat Harem Launches: Expat Sofra

2 January 2015 Community

So thrilled to share this expat lit news! Katherine Belliel and Rose Margaret Deniz, (Expat Harem book and blog writers you’ll recognize whom I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of working with for many years) are now calling for submissions to their new anthology for expat women writers who’ve lived in Turkey. It’s called Expat Sofra: A […]

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